I met Traci Cook years ago when she was still a student here in Portland.
It’s been a joy to watch her grow and evolve as a person and as an artist.
She has done all kinds of production work I cannot show here, but her bird series is happily something I can.
Her work can be found here: http://www.tlcookdesigns.com/
Wylie Beckert is another young artist whose wonderful work mixes darkness, whimsy, and emphasis on characters and storytelling.
Unlike most of the people whose work you’ll see me share, Wylie and I have something in common – we are self-taught.
She’s spent these last months working on a set of playing cards (and an Art Book) called Wicked Kingdom: http://www.wickedkingdomdeck.com/
I met Zelda Devon in San Diego at the San Diego Comic Con when I remarked on the (truly remarkable) tentacle stippled subtly on her shoulder.
She looked askance as she was wearing long sleeves at the time. Of course, I’d seen her bare-armed earlier, but I admit I enjoyed a moment of seeming clairvoyance.
Back then, she lived and worked with her partner in NYC, often for ad agencies and always working to better her craft.
Since then, she’s relocated to LA. where her focus is the Entertainment business.
After all, there’s no biz like show biz!
Amy Crehore is a fine artist and musician.
After a long career illustrating for magazines like Rolling Stone and Playboy, her award-winning work is most often found in galleries these days (and sometimes on ukuleles).
She’s also an amazingly lovely person and friend (though I see her far less than I would like).
Audrey Benjaminsen is a wonderful young artist.
I know almost nothing beyond the beauty and charm of her work.
But sometimes that’s enough.
The first time I saw Daphne Yap’s work it was on a book cover in Bud Plant’s delightful catalog of art books. It was an orange cover with a curiously costumed baby. And I hated it. But when I encountered the book in person that year at the SanDiego ComicCon, the cover and its lingering aftertaste were rendered instantly moot. Inside was one of the most astonishing collections of pencil work I’d ever seen, and from an artist much younger (and better) than I. And while she went on to work on Avatar, and many other projects, I’ll always remember judging her book by its cover.
Dawn Wilson-Enoch – I met Dawn many years ago in Washington DC when she was just breaking into illustration. These days she lives in New Mexico and makes jewelry. In between she painted some of my favorite pieces in the genre. While very few of her pieces can be found online, I am pleased to say that two of these hang on my wall.
Katy Hargrove – I encountered Katy’s work when she was leaving college and I was still Art Director for Digital Addiction. And if the Euro hadn’t picked that moment to tank, I would have hired her. Years later she paid me a visit as she drove north from LA to Seattle and her (then) new gig at ArenaNet making GuildWars. She draws and sculpts delightful creatures.
Like most of the artists whose work I’ll be sharing here over the coming weeks, Tran Nguyen’s lovely and intimate work speaks fluently for itself – predominately on book covers and in galleries around the world. I first encountered her dreamy portraits of young women lying on rooftops much smaller than they were – possibly her take on Alice in Wonderland as imagined by Rene Magritte:
TASTE FOR BITTERSWEET BEDS (“A Place Procured From Our Yesteryears” exhibition)
Then I saw this piece (in Spectrum if memory serves) seemingly inspired by Gustav Klimt by way of Jody Lee. Beautiful in its patterns and tones, and oblique. I looked at it again and again:
OUR FLUTTER-SOME ORDEAL (“Nurturing the Uneased Soul” exhibition)
And lately I’ve seen her work gracing Smithsonian Magazine. Every time I see her work, I am impressed and delighted:
LAID IN A LANDLESS FACADE (Smithsonian Magazine Cover, Art Director: Maria Keehan)